During the twentieth century the average life expectancy doubled. The majority of the population no longer dies from infection but rather from old age.
With the improvement of our healthcare, diets and life quality in general, our population's life expectancy is still elongating each year.
Whilst this is the case the same does not hold true for our health.
Brown (2007) found that Alzheimer's has a prevalence of about 1% in those who are 65. This roughly doubles every 5 years. In the USA, 46% of those who are older than 85 are believed to have Alzheimer's disease.
This suggests that as more and more of us get those extra few years, Alzheimer's will also become increasingly commonplace.
Is Alzheimer's the price we pay for a longer life?
Alzheimer's disease (AD), also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease, is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. It was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him....[[div]]Although Alzheimer's disease develops differently for every individual, there are many common symptoms.Early symptoms are often mistakenly thought to be 'age-related' concerns, or manifestations of stress. In the early stages, the most common symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events...In most of the aged care centers every 2 out of 10 is suffering from this disease....
I disagree with your general sentiments. Most people die from disease, the diseases of civilisation, diseases which were alien to our ancestors. The reality is that we all die prematurely. Our diets are worse than ever and our living standards are in decline.
I agree with Shaun - many people die from the excesses or indulgences they enjoyed earlier in their life (drinking, smoking etc). We are living longer because of medical advancement and the fact healthcare is more readily available, even if more expensive, than ever. Our general diets and exercise levels are shocking and there are more and more people relying on "for life" medication than ever before (to manage cholesterol, blood pressure etc).
I feel that we damage our bodies over time by eating poorly, drinking too much alcohol, and perhaps not exercising enough over time. What can hurt us the most, in my opinion would be not keeping our minds engaged in active things. The more we challenge ourselves as we age the better we will be able to cope as we grow older.
I read an article by a Dr. Blaylock who studies brain disease's and lost both his parents to Alzheimers, that a daily dose of Vitamin D and cod liver oil can help ward off dementia and Alzheimers.
Thank you so much for sharing this informative post.